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Gourmet Desserts for Dinner Parties
Whether at holiday get-togethers, formal office parties, or birthday bashes, the savvy host knows that even the most elaborate meal is not complete without the final touch of a scrumptious dessert. These days, the simple desserts of the past have given way to far more intricate and often exotic gourmet desserts.
Despite their names, gourmet desserts can be quite simple to make. Crunchy, creamy, chocolaty or fruity, these desserts can turn every dining occasion into an exceptional experience. Tantalizing and attractive desserts can provide that special touch to a dinner table, and they add a singularly distinctive finish to elegant meals.
While some gourmet desserts can be created in a jiffy, others can be quite elaborate - but all of them usually have subtle flavors and are designed to indulge people's sweet tooth.
Various Kinds of Desserts
Derived from the French word 'desservir', the term dessert means 'to clear the table'. While in the United States, Australia, Canada and France that final sweet course of a meal is known as 'dessert', in Ireland and the U.K., it is referred to as pudding, sweet, or afters. Depending on the method of preparation and the ingredients used, there are many types of desserts.
Cakes as dessert are the mainstays of most celebratory occasions like anniversaries, birthdays and weddings. In many cultures, cutting a wedding or birthday cake forms an integral part of the ceremony. There are innumerable cake recipes, some of them dating back centuries. While some are elaborate and rich, others can be almost bland, like bread.
Even the rookies can bake a cake these days because much of the complication has been simplified; directions have become easier and utensils more specialized. However, an elaborate cake is still a lot of work and takes skill that only a professional would have.
Sharing cakes used to be a part of Confarreatio, a very old marriage ceremony of the Romans. Different kinds of cakes are associated with various festivals, such as Stollen (during Christmas), or Simnel and Babka during Easter. Cakes are usually enhanced by being covered with frosting or icing, and other toppings like sprinkles. There are lots of different types of cakes, from chocolate cakes and cheesecakes to sponge cakes and pound cakes.
The Internet is a good source for all kinds of cake and gourmet dessert recipes.
Having its origins in Britain, this is basically fresh fruit with a crumbly pastry topping. It is baked until the topping becomes crispy and brown. It is perfect with ice cream, cream or custard. You can sprinkle some brown sugar on the topping, so that it caramelizes on baking, which gives it a distinctive flavor. This is called 'crumble in Britain.
Tarts and Pies
A base made of pastry with various kinds of filling like custards, chocolate, creams, cheeses, fruit or nuts, is called a pie or a tart. These desserts can be either chilled or baked. Tarts are open on top, while pies are covered with a topping of pastry. Tarts are also smaller sized.
In these health conscious days, fruits can be used to make delicious gourmet desserts, such as lemon bars. You can top them with syrups, yogurt, honey or fresh cream. Canned fruits can also be used.
Most cultures of the world have their own traditional desserts as a finale to a meal, especially if it is a special occasion. Sometimes desserts are also consumed on their own, as a snack.
Gourmet deserts do take time to make - and until now it used be nearly impossible to find rich gourmet desserts good enough to please the discerning palate. Today, busy hosts can wow their guests with ready-made, delicious gourmet desserts from online bakeries. Your guests will never know the difference. We promise!
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